Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

all those little things you'e like to know

Here at Canine Therapies we know that you may have lots of questions about Canine Hydrotherapy, Physiotherapy and Massage, and how they relate to your dog. So, we have attempted to address some of the more common questions that our customers have asked about the treatments we offer.

We offer a unique and extremely successful style of canine hydrotherapy based on years of experience in the field and through qualifying as a NARCH Registered Canine Hydrotherapists and skilled massage therapists.

Obviously, we may not have answered all of your questions about Canine Hydrotherapy and our other services here so please get in touch using one of the following methods.

We would love to hear from you:

Use our contact us page or simply give us a call on 01772 335930 or feel free to simply pop-in and see us. Or if you prefer, ask your questions via  Facebook (although I don’t always see these messages as soon as I should!)

We understand that sometimes appointments may need to be rescheduled. We would appreciate at least 24 hours notice, as a late cancellation may leave a gap which could have been utilised by a dog needing to swim. Failure to arrive without cancelling may result in you having to pay for a swim that is not used.

Please toilet your dog! Even if your dog went at home it is a good idea to have them ‘go’ on arrival as car journeys can be very exciting! Please pick up after your dog, there is a rubbish bin for waste outside on the exercise area.

If your dog defecates in the pool there will be a fouling fee as it means we will have to shut the pool down in order to sanitise it.

Please do not allow your dog to toilet inside Canine Therapies.

Bring your dog in on a leash and under control. Canine Therapies has an on-leash policy and no dogs are allowed off leash until otherwise directed by a staff member. Your dog may be friendly but, not all dogs are comfortable with other dogs approaching them, and the road just beyond the main gate is extremely busy and fast.

Giving your dog a good brush to remove loose hair before their swim will be greatly appreciated.

  • Your dog, on a lead!
  • Your dog’s veterinary consent form (for the initial swim)
  • Towels (we do have a few spares in case you forget)
  • Suitable clothing for yourself – your dog will want to share some of the experience with you!

What you do not need to bring is a toy – we provide a good selection of pool toys and sometimes their favourite toy is not suitable for reasons of safety, or food – we do not use food as a motivator in case of choking or bloat.

Hot shower facilities are provided outside, for before a swim, and in the bath in the drying area for rinsing off afterwards. If the dog cannot walk into, or be lifted into the bath it is possible to stand him on the floor for showering, if necessary. We also offer a combination swim/bath package if you would like to shampoo your dog and use our DIY dog wash facilities (although it is not necessary or advisable to shampoo your dog after every swim).

Remember that the purpose of attending is for therapeutic treatment for your dog, so qualified therapists will look after your dog in the water, whilst you encourage him from the side. If your dog is not comfortable with being handled by others, please ring to discuss your options for being included in our swimming programme.

Please do not ask us if children can swim in the pool as refusal may offend.

Yes, open wounds, bitches in season, infectious or contagious conditions such as gastric upsets, kennel cough, ear, eye or skin infections. If your dog has a heart condition, vestibular syndrome or moderate to severe epilepsy any form of exercise may cause a serious problem, so we must be informed so we can discuss the problem with your vet.

Please do not feed your dog for at least 3 hours prior to swimming and 1 hour after swimming.

We prefer that your dog has been vaccinated but this is not a requirement. If you and your vet have your dog on an alternative vaccination protocol, please discuss it with us. If your dog is not vaccinated you will be asked to sign a disclaimer. However, in all circumstances if your dog shows any signs of illness please do not bring it for the session, but telephone to discuss or cancel.

Many dogs that visit Canine Therapies are not “water dogs”. Some can take a few sessions before they find their confidence and start to enjoy their swims. We have found that many of these same ‘non water dogs’ soon turning into real water babies! Your dog will be gently guided into the water wearing a life jacket, and will be closely supported by one or more of our hydrotherapists. We take our time to gain your dogs trust and confidence and try and make swimming at Canine Therapies a positive experience.

Your dog walks into the water via wide non-slip steps that have been specially designed for this purpose. We do not employ the use of a harness or hoist system. Canine buoyancy aids are provided to aid in confidence and to support your dog in the water if needed, and one or two hydrotherapists also support your dog in the water.

No, Canine Therapies provides safe, controlled swimming in warm, clean water. Our pool is heated to an ideal temperature for rehabilitation and conditioning swimming. Swimming in warm water allows the muscles to work more efficiently and without risk of sudden cramp. Cold water swimming constricts blood vessels close to the skin restricting blood flow to the muscles.

We only allow one dog in the pool at a time, for safety reasons. In some circumstances it may be possible for 2 dogs to share a single session to keep your costs down, but they would take it in turns to swim/rest, so in effect they would each have 50% of a session.

No, you and your dog have exclusive use of the pool enclosure for up to 30 minutes. This makes Canine Therapies a great place to exercise dogs who may be uncomfortable around other dogs, or who need to use up lots of energy.

This depends on the condition of your dog and the rehabilitation that is required. For post-operative swims your dog may visit Canine Therapies twice weekly for a few weeks then come once a week when their fitness improves. Some dogs visit Canine Therapies once a week for mobility and senior swimming or just for fun!

If there is a scheduled booking directly following your dog’s booking, your dog’s session will be shortened to meet the scheduled completion time. Failure to arrive may result in having to pay for the session.

Each session is 30 minutes long in total. Initially your dog will not swim for the whole session until fitness levels reach a high level. Remember that 15 minutes of swimming is the equivalent of 1 hour running, but without the impact on joints! He will have a few short swims in order to rest in between, and reduce the chance of stiffness afterwards.

Yes, you do need to ring to make a booking. Please bear in mind that evenings and Saturdays are popular so it pays to book these times well in advance. You can book well ahead, but please remember to cancel if you no longer need it.

We require a vet referral for every dog who swims with us. These forms can be printed out from the website (click here) or can be emailed to you, and then taken in to your vet to fill out. We will not allow use of the pool in any way without written veterinary consent.